Tuesday, November 3, 2020

While They Count Votes.

An "interesting" piece from  Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs, chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (SVOP), and research director of the Valdai International Discussion Club. SVOP is a cabal of politologists and "associated" people, such as late legendary Evgenii Primakov, but is mostly known today for a bunch of "liberals" such as slick opportunist Sergei Karaganov from VShE who pretend that they know how power balance is formed. Lukyanov is an epitome of humanities--uneducated "analyst" (not to mention being associated with a cloaca of VShE) and he doesn't disappoint writing on the issues he has no idea about. In fact, he is clueless. He makes an astonishing claim re: Russian-American relations:

I don't know what stone did Mr. Lukyanov sleep in the last 20 years under, but since Russia and the United States STILL possess 90% of the world's nuclear arsenal, the necessity to manage it still remains one of the major points on the agenda of Russian-American relations. He proceeds with elaboration on this point:

With the nuclear issue losing its pivotal role, there is practically nothing of substance left in US-Russian relations. Granted, there are some smaller-scale technical issues to take care of, such as avoiding accidental clashes in Syria or strengthening diplomatic cooperation to tackle the problem of North Korea. There would probably still be contacts on topics related to former Soviet countries, but that's more about making your intentions clear – not about agreeing on a common position.  

I understand that  Mr. Lukyanov was probably a good journalist for a bunch of rags in Russia and maybe even rubbed shoulders with some luminaries but specialist in modern power balance he is not and never was, and never will be, as will not be Karaganov or many other demagogues with egos larger than cathedrals populating this non-governmental org, SVOP that is. As such his assumptions are risible, because Russia is named in every doctrinal document in the US and is mentioned  as present and clear danger to America by every single US top echelon official, from Pentagon to Department of State. Yet, Lukyanov who wouldn't know the difference between anti-shipping cruise missile and motorcycle comes up with a typical incompetent BS:

For Russia, a critical aspect of this previous experience is its excessive fixation on the United States – to the detriment of other areas of development. This is something that must be thrown overboard, as quickly as possible.

I would suggest Mr. Lukyanov to conduct a forensic experiment and go out and piss off some crazy Caucasus (Chechen, Dagestani or Ingush) body-builder on the street and then remain not excessively "fixated" on his and his family's safety. The whole notion that some political "scientist" or journo who wouldn't be able to grasp nitty-gritty of running even WW II-era diesel sub, not to speak of division of nuclear ones or what is going on in terms of strategic stability on the level of modern weaponry and sensors, as integrated into the decision making on the highest military-political level, can have a competent opinion is risible. Yet, here we are--another ignoramus, who never got to serve even as a private in any capacity in any force waxes "strategic" by parading his ignorance reiterating the point:

For Russia, a new era will only begin once our leadership – who remain overly preoccupied with Russia's relations with the US, believing themselves to be in some sort of unique and historic position – listen to the Russian people, for whom America is just another foreign land. An important one, yes, but no more than that. When it comes to Russia's relations with the US, the less we get carried away by feelings of self-importance and misplaced superiority, the better it would be for everyone, ourselves included.

So, I don't know where Lukyanov gets his points of view, but somebody better whisper to his and his colleagues' ears that the political "science" is not science neither is profession of journalism a valid occupation. To pass competent judgement on issues of a strategic stability and actual power--this is beyond Lukyanov's competencies, even if he thinks that rubbing shoulders with Russia's national security professionals does provide rubbing off fundamental knowledge and competencies which allow people in Russia to make decisions which go radically counter to Lukyanov's platitudes presented as a deep thought, which it is not. In times like these only raw military-industrial power is a viable insurance against a variety of contingencies which end up in massive military clash. I think Lukyanov should take his advice to Russia and apply it to himself, like this:

the less I (Fyodor Lukyanov) get carried away by feelings of self-importance and misplaced superiority, the better it would be for everyone. 
Especially when trying to apply skills in philology to complex matters of national security of Russia whose people overwhelmingly view the United States as a very real threat for themselves. The only thing on which I agree with him--for Russia it makes no difference who comes to power in D.C. Russia will remain America establishment's main threat for reasons of which Lukyanov has very little, if any, understanding. But larger question in all that is how a person with minimal military-political credentials can pass for "expert" in Russia--the explanation to this is very simple, a putrid belch of Russia's "liberal experiment" of 1990s and 2000s when people like Lukyanov wormed their way into the lucrative sphere of Russia's "expertdom" by learning many buzz-words and catch-phrases without having a grasp of their real meaning.  

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